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APPLICATION OF GENETIC ALGORITHM TO FLOWSHOP SCHEDULING PROBLEM

OFOLUWANYO, Clement Oghenovo.

First Viva Submission in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Post Graduate Diploma in Production Engineering

Faculty of Engineering

University of Benin, Benin City

June 2011

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 RESEARCH BACKGROUND A flow shop is a manufacturing facility that produces one or two similar products using high volume specialized equipments. It is characterized by unidirectional flow of work with a variety of jobs being processed sequentially in a one pass manner; for example an assembly line. In a flow shop the system flows continuously through a linear process. Arising from this definition, is a flow shop scheduling problem in which all jobs must visit all machines or work centre in the same sequence.

Processing of a job must be completed on a current machine before processing of the job is started on a succeeding machine. Often the operation must be done on all jobs in the same order. The machines are assumed to be set up in a series and such a processing environment is referred to as a flow shop (Baker, 1974). This means that all jobs are initially available and that each machine is restricted to processing one job at any particular time. In assembly line mentioned earlier, as well as other

manufacturing facilities a number of operations need to be done on every job. Flow shop sequencing problems (FSP) has been well studied in the field of combinational optimization. Stutzle (1998) posited that a combinational optimization problem is either a maximization problem or minimization problem with an associated set of instances. FSP is a problem normally faced by the Managers in production operations. As Managers, they need to make decisions on each activity that will maximize profit to the company.

In FSPs, a set of n-jobs are programmed to be processed with the same flow pattern on m-machine. The sequence of job processing on all machines is the same hence there is the permutation flow shop sequencing production environment with no passing job. The number of possible schedule for the n-job is n! A job that takes 0.01 sec for instance to complete on one machine will require more than two centuries for the job completion in m-machine, where m is fifty for example in its job schedule analysis. It is however true that the main objective of any production facility is to maintain a continuous flow of processing task with minimum idle time and minimum of waiting time. This process minimizes the production time or makes span and cost of production. The overall objectives therefore of this process maximize the

efficiency of the operations reducing cost and maximizing output or profit. Flow shop sequencing problem (FSP) is similar to traveling salesman problem (TSP). TSP was first published in a paper in 1954 by Johnson (Colin 1995) it is also a combinatorial optimization problem.

The idea of TSP is to find a tour of a given number of cities visiting each city exactly once and returning to the starting city where the length of this tour is minimized. Flow shop is this similar to TSP in that the number of cities represents the number of machines and the length of tour represent time taken to produce a certain product on a particular machine. Flow shop sequencing problems are modeled on the following assumptions in order to achieve its objective of maximization output or profit. i. The operation processing time on the machine are known and fixed. ii Setup times are included in the processing time and they are independent jobs. iii At a time every job in processed on only one machine and every machine process only one job. iv. The job operation on the machine may not be preempted (Marcel Seido Nazano 2002). of the job position in the sequence of

From the foregoing, FSPs are seen as problems that has no known fast solution. The time to solve the problem using currently known algorithm, increases very quickly as the size of the job to be done and the number of machines grows. The problem have is to specify the order and timing of the processing of the jobs on the machines with an objective or objectives respecting the assumptions stated above. This reason of difficult in solving FSP problem makes must author to refer to FSPs as an N.PHard problem or non-deterministic polynomial time

problem. 1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENTS The main aim of setting up a production factory is to make profit. This is obtained by maximization of productivity and minimization of cost and makes span. This goal can be achieved by optimal or almost optimal scheduling of jobs in the production process. This project intends to solve this optimization problem using the genetic algorithm method. The objective function here is to minimize completion time or make span.

Sequencing problems are boarding divided into job shop, assembly or flow shop and open shop. In the job shop schedule, operation sequencing is on multiple machines subject to some precedence constraints among the operations. The flow shop scheduling problem is a set of job that flows through multiple stages in the same order. In the open shop scheduling problem, the workshop has several resources and routing of all the operation is free. (Wikipedia). This project is focused on assembly line problems or flow shop problem. Genetic algorithm method is the tool that will used to solve job sequencing and optimization problem in this thesis. The thesis will focus on finding the advantages and limitations of genetic algorithm in solving optimization problems. 1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The objectives of this research work are,

1.

Application

of

genetic

algorithm

to

determine

the

sequence of jobs in order to minimize the flow time or completion time also called make span. 2 Determination of the limitation of genetic algorithm in solving flow shop sequencing problem.

1.4. RESEARCH SCOPES Genetic algorithm is a research instrument. They are usually random search strategies which have been used successfully to find near optimal solution to complex problems. In implementation of genetic algorithm (GA) in solving problems, certain information in particular problem is overlooked. To make use of this information, one need to modify the coding of the search space and of the operators that constitutes genetic algorithm. This is a specific problem task. This project intends to address this issue with regards to solving the permutation flow shop problem (FSP).

A permutation flow shop, is a job processing facility which consists of several machines and several jobs on the machines. In this arrangement, all jobs follow the same machine or processing order. The flow shop by definition implies the job processing is not intercepted once it is started. The objective hence is to find a sequence for the jobs so that the make span or the completion time is minimized. This is however a difficult problem to solve in a reasonable amount of line. 1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Three main steps are used in this research work. The first step is the literature review. In literature review, previous methods that were used to solve flow sequencing problem are modeled and simulated to ensure the algorithm are working as reported in scientific books. The limitations of these algorithms then identified. From the identified limitations, a new sequencing pattern is developed as the propose solution to the flow shop sequencing problem. To prove the efficiency of genetic algorithm in solving flow shop problem, various kinds of

problem will be performed. The results of the performance will be analyzed as the final step of this research. Numerical analysis of flow shop sequencing problem will also be performed.

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CHAPTER TWO 2.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents an overview of related previous work in the area of genetic algorithms and its application mainly in relations to solving flow shop problem. There is an attempt at explanation of the term genetic algorithm (GA) and the steps that are taken to solve the FSP problem using genetic algorithm method. 2.2 GENETIC ALGORITHM Genetic Algorithm (G.A) is a research instrument that has been evolved from the Darwinian theory of biological evolution. It mimics this theory to evolve solutions to real world problems. It is an optimization technique based on natural evolution. Genetic algorithm was introduced by John Holland in 1975 (Othman 2002). It works on the concept of survival of the fittest and provides a method of searching which does not need to explore every possible solution in the feasible region to obtain a good result (Othman 2002)

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Genetic algorithm is one of the most representative members of modern heuristic techniques (Holland 1975) G.A. maintains a pool of tentative solutions for the problem under consideration and uses the principles of natural evolution namely adaptation and survival of the fittest to guide the generation of new promising

selections. These solutions are constructed using some reproductive operators. These operators are,

recombination and mutation operators. The former is intended to combine the positive features of two solutions to create a new solution and it has been traditionally given a central role in the functioning of the algorithm. For the later, its mission is to preserve the diversity in the solution pool (Carless Cotta et al, 1978). G.A is therefore a consciously developed instrument for solving machine component or grouping It problem provides in a

manufacturing

systems

industries.

collection of satisfactory solutions for a two objective environment allowing the decision maker to select the best alternatives.

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2.3 PRINCIPLES OF GENETIC ALGORITHM Genetic algorithm (G.A) follows the evolution theory of Darwin. It is an adaptation of evolution to solving basic human problems. In his works on G.A John Holland of the Michigan University published his adaptation of natural process to design artificial systems having properties similar to natural systems. G.A. is a computerized iterative search optimization technique that is based on the mechanics of natural selection and natural genetics. It deals with population of solutions rather than a single solution. It provides near optimal schedules. The optimal value depends on the operators like cross-over, mutation, number of iteration (i.e. generations), encoding etc. In every generation, a new set of artificial individual (strings) are created. This algorithm combines survival of the fittest amongst string structure. These operators listed principles above are genetic

that are applied in programs when G.A. is

applied to other human endeavour such as aircraft design, criminology, neural networks, construction, traveling

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salesman design etc. 2.3.1

problem, flow shop problem, turbine blade

BASIC ELEMENTS OF GENETIC ALGORITHM

The basic elements of genetic algorithm are:1. ENCODING Encoding is of various types .For example we have binary encoding, permutation encoding, value encoding, tree encoding etc. However, the focus of this project work is on permutation encoding. Encoding means changing of information into a form that can be processed by a computer. In permutation

encoding, every chromosomes is a string of numbers which represents number in a sequence. For example a chromosome A and B can be encoded. Chromosome A 1 5 3 2 6 4 7 9 8 Chromosome B 8 5 6 7 2 3 1 4 9 Permutation encoding is used for ordering problems as in flow shop or traveling salesman problems.

2.

CROSSOVER

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Crossover occurs in genetic algorithm and programs when two member of a population (chromosomes) are selected for reproduction. The selection of any particular

chromosome is dependent on the relative fitness of such chromosome to solving the problem being tackled. Sometimes called recombination, crossover entails the process of combining the attributes of two chromosomes to produce one or more new ones that inherit some or all of the attributes of the parent chromosomes. There are different types of crossover. They include, one point crossover, two point crossovers, uniform cross over, arithmetic crossover, partially mapped crossover, cycle crossover etc. 3. FITTNESS AND SELECTION Fitness is one of the main concepts in Darwinian theory of evolution. It gives direction to genetic algorithm in its pursuit of improvement in problem solving. Fitness refers to an individuals ability to compete within an environment for available resources.

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In genetic algorithm, the fitness function determines the extent to which the system must go with a particular problem. Selection technique adopted in genetic algorithm

determines the efficiency of G.A in solving a problem. It entails the process of choosing a fit chromosome from the population. The primary task of any adopted selector is to measure the relative fitness of each chromosome. The Roulette wheel is one method in use for selection in genetic algorithm applications. 4. MUTATION Mutation is change in the genetic structure of an organism that distinguished it from others of the same type. Mutation results in a new trait which can be inherited. In G.A, mutation represents random element in creation of new solution and ensures movement in search space independent of existing solutions and helps in decreasing the probability of a solution being trapped in local extreme. Mutation operation randomly changes the

offspring resulting from cross over.

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2.3 FLOWSHOP SCHEDULING PROBLEM (FSP) A Flow Shop is a manufacturing facility that produces one or two similar products using high volume specialize equipment; for example an assembly line. The system flows continually through a linear process. A flow shop schedule is one in which all jobs must visit machines or work centre in the same sequence.

Processing of a job must be complete in a current machine before processing of the job is started on a succeeding machine. This means that initially all jobs are available and that each machine is restricted to processing only one job at any particular time. Since the first machine is the facility machine, all jobs must necessarily start procession from there before moving on to the next machine. The objective of all production industry is to complete the production process within the shortest possible time or make span. Many researchers have looked into the efficient operation of transfer lines. Different methods have been dealt with. Most of them have dealt with the effect of buffer

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capacities and equipment reliability on line performance. For example, Buzacott (1972), Ignall and Silker (1977), Elsayed and Turley (1980), Grover (1982), Gershwin and Schink (1983), Savsar and Biles (1984) and EL Tamini and Savsar (1987) have all done some work in this regard. Others such as Gershin ans Schink have developed analytical model for three stage transfer lines with machine failures.Commault and Dallery (1990) proposed models to determine the production rate of transfer lines without buffer storage. They developed heuristics rules to estimate the amount of storage space required to reduce the effect of machine break downs. Bolat et al (1984) addressed the issue of assembly line scheduling without considering the possibility of duplicate stations on the line. Inman and Leon (1984) considered the analysis of serial duplicate stations on automated production lines. They

posited that duplicate stations are generally useful for smoothening out production if some stations are slower than the others or if they are subject to failures more often than others. This position however have the

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disadvantage of want of large space which results in additional cost of employing material handling system and possibly re-sequencing of the products if the entry sequence is to be maintained. From the foregoing analysis it is pertinent to state that performance of a flow shop having duplicate stations is affected by the job scheduling policy adopted by the

Managers. For this reason, Inman and Leon (1994) stimulated a complete line using duplicate stations under the following assumptions. They assumed that the

sequence of arriving jobs is fixed, i.e. the job are released to the stations in the order they arrived, thus the only decision to be made is the allocation of the jobs to the stations. They also assumed that the processing time is constant. With these assumptions, they tested for

different policies under which jobs are alternately sent to the two duplicate stations. Job scheduling is developed with respect to certain objectives or goals such as; meeting due dates,

minimizing flow time and work- in-process minimizing

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makes span (the completion time for last job to leave the system) minimizing the idle time or maximizing

throughput and resource utilization. This shows that problems arising in production scheduling are difficult in the technical sense. In general flow shop scheduling problem are combinational and complex (Gavey and John 1979). Production scheduling involves a large number of jobs and machines subject to a set of constraints and objectives (Lee et al 1993). Job scheduling problems are also classified on various schemes. These are static or dynamic single-product or multiple-product, single processor or multiple processor facilities etc. This research work seeks to concern itself with single product flow shop problem (FSP). Inman and Leon (1994) with an intention to finding solution to FSP simulated a complete line with assumption that the sequence of arrival of jobs is fixed and that the processing time is constant. In their test they used four different stations. policies for operating the serial duplicate

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The first policy is the alternating policy in which jobs are alternately sent to the two duplicate stations. In the second policy called Tandem, jobs are released to the duplicate stations in tandem. In other words the only time jobs are allowed to enter the pair of duplicate station is when both stations are empty and also at least two jobs are on queue. They discovered that these two policies cause throughput inefficiencies. Other policies also investigated by Inman and Leon includes, the greedy assignment policy which assigns jobs that are arriving to the farthest accessible station. This policy resulted in blocking of the downstream duplicate station by the upstream one. The time left policy which considers the expected processing time left on jobs that are already in the duplicates stations. This policy attempts to improve on the greedy algorithms short comings. In their conclusion, Inman and Leon (1994) concluded that the time left policy is optimal for simple problems. Ng (1995), studied the problem of determining the optimal number of duplicate process tanks with the objective of

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maximizing the throughput for a given tank configuration of a single host circuit board production line. He

formulated the problem as a mixed integer program and derived the properties of the optimal solution. Ng (1995) developed an algorithm to determine the optimal number of duplicate stations that maximizes the productivity of the system. Savsar and Allahvedi (1999) addressed the problems of duplicate station scheduling with respect to three

objectives functions; minimizing mean flow time, make span and station idle time. The work was the first analytical attempt to solve the problem. In their works, they assumed that all jobs are available at time zero to be scheduled and hence two decisions needed to be made. One was how to allocate the job to the stations and the other was how to sequence the jobs. Other methods have also been used in a attempted at solving FSP. Meta heuristics is one of those methods that have been used to solve FSP problems or complex combinational optimization problems. Holland (1975), Osman and Laporte (1995) and

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Reeves (1995) have all applied this method. Traditional techniques at finding solution to FSPs have provided exact analytical solution to highly specific and restricted

problems or approximate solutions to fairly general classes of problems. Modern approaches to the problem have involved techniques such as simulated annealing and tabu search with improved results. Genetic algorithm is one of such modern approaches introduced by Holland (1975) but whose potential for solving combinational optimization problem was only latterly well explored. Mott (1991) discussed how G.A. can be used to drive suitable schedule for a serial flow shop. Bolat et al (2005) provided a persuasive evidence of the power of G.A. to generate high quality solutions and showed that G.A. compares favourably with modern approaches with respect to efficiency. As an extension of these previous works examined above this research work seeks to consider the application of G.A. in serial stations with n-jobs. The objective is to minimize total complete time otherwise called make span and maximize production

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or profit. In this regard the GA optimal returns will be considered algorithm. visa vice that of the orthodox Johnson

REFERENCES 1. ADUSUMILLI KUMAR, et al. A Genetic Algorithm for the Two Machine Flow shop Problems. International Journal of Computers, Communications & Controls. 2. BAUDET, P et al, A Genetic Algorithm for Batch Chemical Plant Scheduling. 3. BOUKEF, HELA. et al (2007). A Proposed Genetic Algorithm Coding for Flow Shop Scheduling Problems. International Journal of Computers, Communications & Controls. Vol 1 pp 229-240.

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4. DIPAK LAHA and SAGAR U. (2011). An Efficient Heuristic Algorithm for m-Machine No-Wait Flow Shop. Proceeding of the International Multi-Conference of Engineers and Computer Scientist. VI 5. GUPTA KUMAR PREM & HIRA, D.S, (2009). Operations Research. S Chand & Company Limited. Ram Nagar, New Delhi. Pp 404-446. 6. LING WANG, et al. (2005). An Effective Hybrid Genetic Algorithm for flow shop Scheduling with Limited Buffers, Journal of Computer & Operation Research. 7. MARCELO SEIDO NAGANO, (2002). A Constructive Genetic Algorithm for Permutation Flow shop Scheduling. Journal of the Operation Research Society. 8. RAJASEKARAN, & VIJAYALAKSHMI, G.A, (2004).Neural Networks, Fuzzy logic, and Genetic Algorithms; Synthetic and Applications. Prentice Hall of India Private Limited. New Delhi, pp 225-293. SAUVEY, C and SAUER N. (2011).An Efficient Genetic Algorithm for permutation Flow shop Problem with Particular Blocking. 8th International Conference of modeling and Simulation.
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10. SHARMA, J.K, (2009). Operations Research, Theory and Applications. MacMillan Publishers India Ltd. New Delhi. pp 723-740.

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